Friday, November 22, 2013

Whither The Blame Game?

Do you know this is one-thousand-seven-hundredth post on this blog thing?  I started it long ago.  I will probably continue it into the future.  As long as I do my show.  I have a couple of abandoned blogs out there, which I promise to myself I'll return to, but this one stays with me.  Like a wart.

Which is fine, I love Self Help Radio.  I just am not entirely sure why I started this blog in the first place.  I think I meant it to be somehow related to the show, but of course the show - which is on the radio - & which, in general, hasn't been something a lot of folks wanted to do more than listen to - well, the vast majority of folks don't want to listen to it, but I understand that - the show has about as much in common with a blog as I do with your average Clear Channel on-air personality.  I wonder if those folks have blogs.  Or do they have interns who write them for them?

I forgot what I was talking about.  Oh yeah, seven hundred & one thousand posts.  I used to try to give away things to folks who responded to these posts on these anniversaries, but that's hard when no one reads them.  Also a reason not to have a blog!  What is a blog without readers?

On one of my abandoned blogs I wrote something I thought was funny about nude photographs of the great Renaissance poisoner (alleged) Lucrezia Borgia.  I joked that someone had found nude photos of her or something like that.  You know, since she existed a couple of centuries before photography.  That was the joke.  Ho ho.  But it turns out there's a "star" of pornographic movies with that name.  & because of that - that name plus "nude photos" - that became my most popular post on that abandoned blog.  To this day people find the blog looking for a porno "actress."

In any event, as I muse with a little melancholy about my useless writing, I still have a radio show to do & it's on tonight, from 10pm to midnight, on 88.1 fm in Lexington & online at  Maybe someone will listen - since it's more likely to accidentally stumble onto a radio station than onto a blog.

& here's to 1700 more!

Ugh.  That made my stomach hurt.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Preface To The Blame Game: 1699

Tomorrow will be 1700 posts on this site since May 23.  I think around that time I reduced the number of posts per week written here from five to four.  I really don't have that much to say.

In fact, no one really visits this site, & when someone does, it's usually one of those weird bots designed to look up the names of sites to discover whether it's been taken or not - I'm sure there's certainly some value in having a site called "selfhelpradio" & it could mean $$$ to a promising con man/woman who's failed to make money as a life coach & finds all those charts in astrology to be a headache.

I've only myself to blame.  I'm not anywhere near creative enough to sustain the writing involved for 1700 (!) daily or sort-of-daily letters or essays to people who might be interested in my show.  This may be - at long last! - the time to reevaluate what sort of blog this ought to be.  But man! that seems like a lot of work.

More than anything else, I have needed for a long time to establish writing in the blog thing as a ritual, or at least something I do every day I'm required to.  The problem is, one of those days I also need to edit my radio show, which takes a lot longer than logging in to Blogger & typing four paragraphs of nonsense once a day.

I have been reading some Greek stuff - you know, from ancient times - & I love how they write about things by referencing (perhaps incorrectly) myths, tales, or writings to which we (as humans) might not be privy.  For example, this is from a piece by Plutarch giving advice to a young married couple (mainly the bride):

Helen was fond of wealth & Paris of pleasure; Odysseus was sensible & Penelope virtuous. Therefore the marriage of the latter pair was happy & enviable, while that of the former created an "Iliad of woes" for Greeks & barbarians.

I need to start writing like that, pretending to write truism but in my case referencing music or pop culture.

We understand Springsteen when he talks of the "new-mown chaperone" who, by himself, espied the pretty maidens at the high school social, but we also understand Momus who describes, in the immortal song, how, at the time of consummation, the only "fashionable dress" is "flesh."

I know that doesn't mean anything & in fact it's a little exhausting, but there's something delightfully dumb & pretentious about it that I think is perfect for a blog about a dumb & pretentious radio show.

Or not?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I Wrote A Villanelle

Yes, for last week's show I wrote a villanelle.

As Wikipedia explains, "a villanelle (also known as villanesque) is a nineteen-line poetic for consisting of five tercets followed by a quatrain."

I know that sounds perverted, but it just means there are five blocks which have the rhyme scheme ABA & one last one that goes ABAA.  Plus the first two rhyming lines repeat all through the poem.

No one calls it a villanesque.

Maybe the most famous villanelle - certainly the most powerful - is Dylan Thomas':

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

You can listen to it (I don't know if it's Thomas himself reading it) here.

Mine was stupid - celebrating playing a bunch of songs called "Wonderful."  Even though a few of them were called "Wunderbar."  Here it is:

Oh man I can't believe it's all done.
Ninety minutes of songs called wonderful.
Jeez, you would've thought it'd be more fun.

I'm kind of tired, as if I had run
A race all lightning & thunderful
Oh man I can't believe it's all done.

At this point in the poem I usually use a pun
It's awkward, it's really blunderful
Jeez, you would've thought it'd be more fun.

But I played all the damn songs one by one
Through my record collection I was plunderful
Oh man I can't believe it's all done.

Twenty songs with the same name I spun.
Afraid things would get all asunderful
Jeez, you would've thought it'd be more fun.

Have I things to show for it?  No, none.
I wanted quality while being numberful.
Oh man I can't believe it's all done.
Jeez, you would've thought it'd be more fun.

Now, of course, I've stuck my doggerel on the same page with one of the best poems ever written.  This is certainly the magic of the internets.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Self Help Radio 111513: The Wonderful Show

W is for WRFL.  O is for Oh Look A Radio Show.  N is for Nimrod.  D is for Disc Jockey.  E is for Evergreen, a song that touches me deeply.  R is for RFL.  F is not for FL that would be stupid.  F is for Fantastical.  U is for Unusual.  & L is for Look Oh A Radio Show.

Yes, you can't spell wonderful without WRFL because then it would be Ondeu, which is probably a last name in France or something.  I tried to make my mediocre radio show into something more wonderful by playing lots of songs called "Wonderful" & a couple called "Wonderful Wonderful."  Did it work?  What do you think?

I find it wonderful you can listen to the Wonderful show at the Self Help Radio website.  Through the miracle of HTML links, you can listen to the show directly from here, just click either part one or part two & you're there.  The list of songs - seriously, most of them are called "Wonderful" - is below.

Thanks for listening, you wonderful person you.

(part one)

"Wonderful" Doris Day _I'm In The Mood For Love_
"Wonderful" Colin Blunstone _Journey_
"Wonderful" Isaac Hayes _Wonderful_

"Wonderful" Ohio Players _Funk On Fire: The Mercury Anthology_
"Wunderbar" Tenpole Tudor _Eddie, Old Bob, Dick, & Gary_
"Wonderful" Louis Philippe _Delta Kiss_
"Wonderful" Adam Ant _Wonderful_

"Wonderful" Mr. Wright _The Fancy Man_
"Wonderful" Majestic _Live It Up!_
"Wonderful" The Galactic Heroes _How About San Francisco?_
"Wunderbar" Sparks _Lil' Beethoven_

"Wonderful" Black Kali Ma _You Ride The Pony I'll Be The Bunny_

(part two)

"Wonderful" The Beta Band _Heroes To Zeros_
"Wonderful" Ella Guru _The First Album_
"Wonderful" The Everyday Things _Lighten Up, Francis_

"Wonderful" Golden Bear _Golden Bear_
"Wonderful" Claw Boys Claw _Pajama Days_
"Wonderful" Josh Rouse _Subtitulo_
"Wonderful" The Dentists _If All The Flies Were One Fly: : A Collection Of Rare & Unreleased Dentistry 1984-1995_
"Wonderful" Elks Skiffle Group _The Space Age Sounds Of Elks Skiffle Group_

"Wonderful Wonderful" R. Stevie Moore _Next / Apologies To Mr. Gottlieb (Classic Nashville Recordings From His Phonography Days)_
"Wonderful Wonderful" People Like Us _Welcome Abroad_
"What A Wonderful World" Louis Armstrong, Flaming Lips, BMX Bandits, Nick Cave, & Shane McGowan _What A Wondeful World_

"She's Wonderful" Harry Shalson _They Called It Crooning_
"On A Wonderful Day Like Today" Matt Monro _This Is The Life_
"It's So Wonderful" The Raindrops _The Raindrops_